In its simplest definition, a traditional film or media archive was a repository that offered physical access to documents, media, and resources that were substantially different from the secondary sources that referenced and interpreted them. Materials could be accessed only after a formal protocol (including correspondence, bookings, and often payment) had been followed, and frequently researchers were not permitted to photograph, photocopy, or reproduce them. Scholars of film and media history consequently had a uniquely difficult task: they had to watch films in archives on Moviolas or Steenbecks, and they had to make notes during viewings that would allow them to later recall not just narrative and intertitles, but also a...
Editors' Introduction: Archives and Archivists
Victoria Duckett is a film historian and lecturer in entertainment production at Deakin University, Melbourne. She has published extensively in the areas of performance, gender, and film history. She is on the editorial board of Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film and Feminist Media Histories. She is coeditor of the special dossier “Women and the Silent Screen” (Screening the Past, 2015) and coeditor of Researching Women in Silent Film: New Findings and Perspectives (University of Bologna, 2013). Her book Performing Passion: Sarah Bernhardt and Silent Film (2015) was recently published by the University of Illinois Press.
Jill Julius Matthews is an emeritus professor at the Australian National University. She is a historian whose research focuses on gender, modernity, sexuality, silent cinema, and popular culture. Her major books are Good and Mad Women: The Social Construction of Femininity in Twentieth Century Australia (1984), Sex in Public: Australian Sexual Cultures (ed., 1997), and Dance Hall and Picture Palace: Sydney's Romance with Modernity (2005). She has been a member of the Board of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
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Victoria Duckett, Jill Julius Matthews; Editors' Introduction: Archives and Archivists. Feminist Media Histories 1 January 2016; 2 (1): 1–5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2016.2.1.1
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